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Identifying right time to modernize elevators

Top Tips for Identifying the Right Time for Elevator Modernization

Posted by On 10-10-2018

Building owners and property managers are up against many challenges when it comes to tenant retention and finding new ones. In a city where construction sites and cranes have become part of the skyline, competition can be fierce. One of the most affordable options to help keep your building up to snuff is to consider a modernization plan for your elevators. Modernization allows you to choose necessary upgrades such as a cab redesign, a complete overhaul or a system replacement.

Modernization is ideal for buildings in which the elevators have seen an increasing need for repairs, more downtime and out of date design which can all contribute to tenant frustration as well as a lower perceived sense of value.

Where to Begin

When considering modernization it makes good sense, to begin with an evaluation of the system as well as elevator use and tenant requirements. You should include some visits to properties in your area, to ride the elevators, visit the lobby and get information for comparison. The evaluation of the elevator itself will then provide you with a scope of the project and what you can consider for upgrades such as elevator control and drive systems. Consider all aspects including the appearance as all of these factors contribute to how potential tenants will view long-term ability for leasing opportunities, not to mention the overall value of the property should you wish to sell.

Ongoing Failure

As part of your evaluation, you can review maintenance and repairs over the past few years. Although you can keep an older elevator running for years with ongoing repairs and maintenance, it eats into your budget, while frustrating tenants who continue to experience service interruptions and downtime. There are a number of signs you can watch for that indicate it’s time to consider modernization including:

  • Elevators are more than 20 years old
  • Jerking and noise during the ride
  • Stuffiness in the cab
  • Smells of hydraulic fluid in the cab
  • Long waits
  • Slow travel experience
  • Frequent downtimes

Consider Aesthetics

One of the easiest ways to attract new tenants and keep existing ones is to ensure your building continues to look well-maintained. A lobby and elevator makeover can really increase the perceived value of a building and shows existing tenants that you are invested in building upkeep.

It is advisable to do an examination and assessment of the cab to decide what changes can be done to improve appearance and provide a more modern, sophisticated look. Interior updates are available in endless finishes making it easy to find something to suit your design scheme and budget. These details will attract new tenants while improving tenant retention.

If you are doing more than a cab redesign, the equipment chosen for a full modernization can impact the aesthetics. Therefore, a complete consult should be considered if you wish to change elevator cab finishes.

Aesthetic updates will also make a huge impact once the project is complete. This will help support your reasoning for modernization and provide a visual to help justify the inconvenience tenants might experience while the project is underway.

Financial Implications

As already mentioned we are in a very competitive real estate market. You have to make sure you can offer comparable features in your buildings, and that includes state of the art elevator systems that not only look beautiful but run smoothly. Modern elevators run almost silently and even include special security features. This is important in business, hotels and condos. Whether it is attracting new tenants, attracting more guests or keeping in mind resale value should you wish to sell your property, the elevators play a major role in perceived value.

A poorly functioning elevator system can also make tenants feel unsafe which means fewer lease renewals, and a drop in interest from potential new tenants. This can affect your bottom line. Another financial consideration is the cost of repairs and energy drain from your old system. A new system adds value as it helps pay for itself with lower energy fees as well as fewer investments in repairs.

Life Expectancy

Elevators come with a life expectancy and trying to keep them running beyond that will lead to higher costs for operation, while adding more and more downtime. You can check the manufacturer’s projected life expectancy to get an idea of how much longer your elevators will realistically remain operational. This is a good way to determine when it might be a good idea to add modernization (or replacement) into your maintenance budget.

Increased Security & Building Features

Modernization can offer a number of security options such as destination selection control systems. This allows you to handle traffic as well as access for security purposes. You can manage which floors are reached by each elevator and also control who can access certain floors.

These special features are excellent additions for both residential and commercial buildings. Upgrades such as tenant lobby directory touch screens, VIP services, the choice to ride a specific elevator and easier access for the mobility impaired all help make it easier and more comfortable for tenants and guests.

In an office environment, the destination selection control systems will make handling the morning and evening rushes easier. They also work well in luxury condos as well as high-rise hotels where higher floors feature VIP clubs or amenities not available to all rooms.

Safety Code

In older buildings modernization can provide updates to meet new building code requirements. This can include components of the fire and life-safety systems as well as the capacity of the standby generator and its interface to elevators. Learning all the new codes will help you get a more realistic idea of how much your modernizations will cost as they will have to be inspected by code enforcing authorities once your project is finished.

Modernization offers improved safety, reliability, performance, and of course aesthetics. How far you decide to take modernization will influence the impact as well as your return on investment.

If you are interested in elevator modernization for your building contact Alcor Elevator toll-free at 1 (866) 460-0308 or visit our website for more information.

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